Step 1: Get your materials
Step 2: Getting a square deal
Step 3: It is not OK to eat varnish
Here you can see N. passing them through a planer to take off the outermost layers of varnish and wood so we could get back to clean maple. We passed through each face that glue would be applied to several times to get a nice smooth surface. We left the varnish on the faces that would become the cutting surfaces to be dealt with later.
Step 4: Check your work
As a related aside, you can see we were wearing ear protection, which is key.
Hearing is one of those things, like eyeballs and fingers, you want to hang onto for as long as possible.